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Old 23-12-2014, 15:24   #16
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Currently in Spain
Boat: Hanse 385
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Re: Iridium Go?

Hi,

I was a big poster in the other GO thread but just wanted to clear up a few things here as I've just used it extensively to get over the Atlantic.

1. If you're using any type of low cost Sat comms to try to connect to the web and expect it to work like it does when you're at home you're an idiot.

2. I never used the web, nor would I. It's not designed for the web period. If you need this you should look into vastly more expensive hardware and get ready for a monthly bills that will make you cry. You might get away with a few mobile type sites (think the old WEB days) but that's it.

3. The GO worked pretty much perfectly for me. But you have to learn how to use it. The satellites move overhead. If you try getting mail when they aren't in range it won't work.
There are two ways to get the device working well. One much better than the other.

a). You MUST have 5bars of signal constantly. If you see it flicker down to 4 or 3 it's not doing to work as you have maybe 1 sat just in range. 5 bars is a must.

b). Download the Weather4D Pro app. This will show you (in realtime) where the Iridium Satellites are in the sky. Time your connections based off this. This is what I did over the Atlantic and it ALWAYS worked.

4. Keep your emails short. Don't just hit reply. Trim any old replies. The GO, and other Iridium systems based on the same tech are so slow all this makes the difference. You have to work with the limits not try to push against them and then bitch about it.

5. You can set "BIG email" sizes so anything over a certain size will go into that folder first and then you can download if you want to. Use it.

6. Don't try downloading 120K GRIB files. It won't work. I did tests. The most you can download it around 20k-25k at a time. More than this and the satellite will have moved overhead and it'll time out.
The same goes for emails. If you have more than say 10-20 small emails coming in per connection it's not going to work.

7. I didn't use an external aerial. I used the built in one and it worked fine. I actually read somewhere that someone did tests and the external one made no difference.

8. The email app has tech built in so if your connection does time out it'll carry on from where it got to next time.

9. The APPs do still have bugs I agree. But none of them are show stoppers for what (I believe) the GO should be used for... Small emails, and small GRIB weather files.

10. One tip (for the guy who's inbox clogged up). Just set the BIG email size to something very small. The next time you connect it'll send this info to the mail server. Then the time after that it'll just download the headers and place them all in the BIG email folder. You can then delete the offending larger emails that were causing the issues and set the size back to something a little more sensible.

That's it from me.

Regards,
Simon
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Old 23-12-2014, 17:24   #17
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Re: Iridium Go?

Aloha Simon,
Thank you for your "kind" words . . .

I never intended to use the Iridium Go for a web connection (only small emails and sailblog postings and weather reports) . . . however, in most of their advertising and the fact it's called "Mail & Web App" this was implied . . . why call it a "web" app if it doesn't connect to the web? ( and in the latest software update they completely turned this function off) . . . nowhere do they ever tell you that the "web" access was limited to about 20 "mobile" sites . . . really not a big deal for me, but when I am paying for "unlimited data" . . . and I don't really care about download times . . .

I'm glad the system is working for you . . . maybe the Atlantic has stronger signals . . . 5 bars here in Hawaii is impossible without an external antenna . . . and then only when the satellites are directly overhead . . . I have even tried the unit at the 10,000 ft level of Haleakula mountain.

I have only sent a larger email once (251k and that's not big) to test the Big Mail system . . . it jammed my entire system for two weeks and Iridium had to clear all my emails to get the system to work again. . . . they told me to never change the Big Mail settings to anything over 50K. The Big Mail folder in my software has NEVER worked! I have never successfully downloaded anything even approaching 50k . . . the best I have done is short SMS messages. If according to you the "most you can download it around 20k-25k at a time" what is the point of paying for "unlimited data" as I currently am?

I have never been able to download more than 2-3 emails of way less than 50k each without the system kicking me off . . . so much for the "unlimited data" I'm paying for . . . and it has never automatically resumed a download when I reconnected . . . again maybe things just work better in the Atlantic . . .

I'm glad things are working for you . . . all I want is what I was sold . . . a system that would allow me to send and receive small emails, send small photos (300 x 300 pixels) and posts to Sailblogs and FaceBook and receive weather reports on a RELIABLE basis . . . without the system dropping me or jamming up if someone send me a large email (have you heard of something called spam) . . .

Iridium has changed their website to downplay the web aspect of the GO system and that a good step . . . however they need to fix the software issues that were created by their last update ( I have mentioned these several times in previous posts) . . .

These are just my real world experiences . . . I'm glad yours were better . . .



Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hi,

I was a big poster in the other GO thread but just wanted to clear up a few things here as I've just used it extensively to get over the Atlantic.

1. If you're using any type of low cost Sat comms to try to connect to the web and expect it to work like it does when you're at home you're an idiot.

2. I never used the web, nor would I. It's not designed for the web period. If you need this you should look into vastly more expensive hardware and get ready for a monthly bills that will make you cry. You might get away with a few mobile type sites (think the old WEB days) but that's it.

3. The GO worked pretty much perfectly for me. But you have to learn how to use it. The satellites move overhead. If you try getting mail when they aren't in range it won't work.
There are two ways to get the device working well. One much better than the other.

a). You MUST have 5bars of signal constantly. If you see it flicker down to 4 or 3 it's not doing to work as you have maybe 1 sat just in range. 5 bars is a must.

b). Download the Weather4D Pro app. This will show you (in realtime) where the Iridium Satellites are in the sky. Time your connections based off this. This is what I did over the Atlantic and it ALWAYS worked.

4. Keep your emails short. Don't just hit reply. Trim any old replies. The GO, and other Iridium systems based on the same tech are so slow all this makes the difference. You have to work with the limits not try to push against them and then bitch about it.

5. You can set "BIG email" sizes so anything over a certain size will go into that folder first and then you can download if you want to. Use it.

6. Don't try downloading 120K GRIB files. It won't work. I did tests. The most you can download it around 20k-25k at a time. More than this and the satellite will have moved overhead and it'll time out.
The same goes for emails. If you have more than say 10-20 small emails coming in per connection it's not going to work.

7. I didn't use an external aerial. I used the built in one and it worked fine. I actually read somewhere that someone did tests and the external one made no difference.

8. The email app has tech built in so if your connection does time out it'll carry on from where it got to next time.

9. The APPs do still have bugs I agree. But none of them are show stoppers for what (I believe) the GO should be used for... Small emails, and small GRIB weather files.

10. One tip (for the guy who's inbox clogged up). Just set the BIG email size to something very small. The next time you connect it'll send this info to the mail server. Then the time after that it'll just download the headers and place them all in the BIG email folder. You can then delete the offending larger emails that were causing the issues and set the size back to something a little more sensible.

That's it from me.

Regards,
Simon
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Old 23-12-2014, 18:09   #18
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Re: Iridium Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petert96753 View Post
. . all I want is what I was sold . . . a system that would allow me to send and receive small emails, send small photos (300 x 300 pixels) and posts to Sailblogs and FaceBook and receive weather reports on a RELIABLE basis . . . without the system dropping me or jamming up if someone send me a large email (have you heard of something called spam) . . .
Thanks Peter and Simon for the insightful reports. I guess I will be holding on my InReach SE for a little while. For the cost and reliability, I live with the 160 char limit per text message. My wife can easily text me where the Hi and Lo arr and where they are heading. Not the best, but I am OK with it. Thank you.

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Old 23-12-2014, 19:50   #19
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Re: Iridium Go?

I bought an Iridium Go a couple of months ago and the 3 of us on board used it successfully for txt messages across to top of Australia from Darwin to Mackay (QLD). It did what they said it would do and I am fairly pleased with it however I really shouldn't have bought the external aerial and the 50ft of cable as it works well just sitting in the cockpit. (If anyone wants to buy it just let me know) One thing I haven't been able to get my head around is how does it connect to my laptop and be able to download emails and grib files?
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Old 24-12-2014, 04:07   #20
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Re: Iridium Go?

To the poster above:
Not sure you can use the GO with your laptop. It's designed to work with mobile devices. Would love to know if anyone has got it working with a laptop but then you'd need to deal with compression issues, updates downloading, etc

To the poster having issues:
That doesn't sound right at all, I.e. Getting no connections all the time. Maybe as you say you're unlucky and just in a black spot.

However saying a 250k email isn't big is just wrong. There's no way you're ever going to be able to download that size of file on a Sat phone so I'm not surprised it jammed your system. That's a huge amount of data at the speeds the GO works at. A 25k GRIB file takes around 5-7mins so for your 250k file you'd be looking at 50mins of solid connection. 'Ain't going to happen.

Like I mentioned though by setting your big mail setting to something really small and letting that send it should have sorted out the jam.

I changed my big mail setting to 30k and I make sure my GRIB files are always under this.

I do totally agree with you that the software could be better. After our crossing I emailed over a list of bugs I'd found to them but they are aware of them and should be issuing a fix soon hopefully.

The web part is hard. I mean it does 'work' but you need to only use very low data sites. With Internet speeds so high in most places there aren't many of those left.

I take it you have Oprah Mini browser installed? You need that for the web side to work.

Again, sorry to hear your system doesn't work. Maybe try getting a refund?






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Old 24-12-2014, 04:15   #21
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Re: Iridium Go?

Looking back at your post again it sounds like your expected to be able to download quite a bit as you have the unlimited plan.

The unlimited plan is great if you need to download emails a lot. It is not a replacement for a normal internet connection.

Again the basic rule you seem to be missing is that you can only download while the satellite is overhead. Once it goes out of range you'll disconnect. From my experience that's about 7-8mins max which is why I know I can only receive files around 25-30k before I run into issues.

Do you have the weather4D pro app? That's a must I think to make your life easier. Just track the sats as they move into range. Do your thing. And it should all work much better.



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Old 11-01-2015, 13:07   #22
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Re: Iridium Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hi,

I was a big poster in the other GO thread but just wanted to clear up a few things here as I've just used it extensively to get over the Atlantic.

...

Regards,
Simon

Thanks Simon, your write up is excellent. I just ordered a Go! and feel way more confident now after reading your post that I can get GRIBs with weather 4D.
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